.....between the joy of Christmas, the increasing light of Epiphany and the struggle of the members of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina - now sadly, divided. It would be tempting to start the naming, blaming, and projection that so often accompany the destruction of a relationship which usually sounds something like this: If you had not done (fill in the blank), I would not have felt compelled to do what I did..and so on.
I have heard the language of divorce used and wonder if we really understand its' profound pain. Not many people capture this better than Pat Conroy whose 1988 essay, "Requiem for a Marriage," can be found Here. Read it and think about what is unfolding now in our corner of the Church.
Conroy writes "...Each divorce is
the death of a small civilization" and this is, I believe, what we are experiencing now. In our case, it is 340 plus years of missionary work and a careful and costly building up of the Body of Christ in this place.
What can we say? I understand that as followers of the Risen Lord, we are never left without hope for new life ahead, and that is a settled conviction with me. However, we cannot move forward properly until we understand the loss we have experienced, and this is where I and many brothers and sisters are at present - trying to come to terms with the loss we are just beginning to discover. For some, it feels like an enormous relief to be done with those troublesome others, but, then, there are many things in this life that feel like a relief at the time - the pain of which comes washing slowly back into one's consciousness over time.
At St. James Santee, I am so thankful for the way we are navigating this time: slowly and patiently; listening carefully to each; and, unwilling to suffer the loss of even one member. May our God bless us in our deliberations. And, may God bless each of you .
Your sister in Christ, Jennie+